Trying to get one PlayStation 5 or one of Microsoft’s next generation consoles – the Xbox Series X and the smaller, less powerful Xbox Series SRemains a silly errand. Shares are sold as soon as it becomes available. When it pops up from unofficial retailers, it does so with a dizzying remark.
Scarcity is driven by a number of factors: by robots, which provide the consoles automatically; of lack of chip production that resulted in cross-industry disruptions of a pandemic that elevated the global supply line; of scalpers, which is just the damn worst. Experts believe so Typical buying conditions – where you can jump into the nearest GameStop and pick up a system from the shelf – will not be seen until the fall, as early as possible.
So yes, it’s pretty rough out there for anyone hoping to hop on the next generation express.
Read more: When will you be able to get a PS5?
But here’s the thing: If you’re wondering where to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X / S, you’re asking the wrong questions. The answer is simple. (Ex: Target, Best Buy, Walmart, GameStop, direct purchases from Sony and Microsoft – anyway.) Instead, you should wonder how to get one. The trick there is to learn to find out when consoles become available, and act immediately. Of course, these tactics do not guarantee that you will get one. But they will help much more than updating Walmart’s website every six minutes.
Join alert sites.
Few services are more invaluable for tracking a next-generation console than stock alert sites like HotStock.io, which does exactly what you can imagine: notify you when the warehouse is backed up. NowInStock.net, for example, offers useful trackers for both Xbox Series X / S and PlayStation 5. But that’s not the only draw. NowInStock’s readership numbers are often confusing, with users regularly jumping into the comments section to shop for product drop in specific regions and share success stories of how they’ve worked to secure next-generation consoles. For once, yes, you should read the comments.
Join stock alert Discord servers.
If you’re on Discord, the right server is just as useful – and serves the same purpose – as a solid inventory alert location. Servers like NerdSpeak, Stock alert, Unobtainium, and Stock drop are good places to check out.
When you join a given server, you will usually receive instructions on how to sign up for specific product alerts. For the most part, it’s going into a specific channel and leaving a specific emoji under a specific message that shows all your options. Later, if you want to disable the alert for that product, just click on the same emoji you left earlier to remove it.
Get on Twitter.
Twitter may be the worst site in the world, but some accounts can help you get the next generation consoles, so hey, worth it. Few in that regard are more useful than Wario64, which will not only warn followers about new stocks, but also offer hour-long lead times when making direct purchases – either through Sony PlayStation Direct or Microsoft Microsoft Store—Will go live.
Prepare the sites you expect to shop on.
So you signed up for alerts and got a Discord or two. Great, but you’re not done yet. Before you relax and wait for pop-ups to start rolling in, think about which sites you want to be alerted to and do everything you need to make any checkout process as quick and painless as possible.
This often means creating an account with that reseller. For example, if you expected to receive stock alerts on Walmart.com, create an account there and enter as much info as possible, especially your shipping address and billing information (store your credit card or other payment information there, provided you feel comfortable with the). And if possible, you can set your browser to preserve the site’s login cookies so that you stay logged in between visits.
Now, when a notification comes in, you can click on the link, try adding the item to your shopping cart and (hopefully) check out with a minimum of additional input. We say “hopefully” because a lot of annoying crap can still go down when you try to check out an e-commerce site under load, even surprising CAPTCHAs, unplanned logins and all other devilry. All you can do is make sure you are as prepared as possible and roll with the rest.
Scan regularly for Intel.
Most of our advice involves setting up alerts so that information is pushed to you. It saves you an endless hell of scrubbing retail websites day after day in hopes of the one-to-a-thousand rebuild.
However, you can definitely get a leg up by paying attention to what your fellow hunters say on the stock pages and Discord servers you just joined. They will often share the very latest information about your particular quarry, such as when and where the next warehouse is expected. Sometimes it’s a bunk, but often you want to collect legitimate valuable intel. You do not have to be a forum grembler yourself, but it can definitely pay to keep your discourse in order.
Be very, very patient.
Well, time to wait. When you are ready, success can be conditional on being present on your computer or phone for hours on end to jump on alerts in seconds (not minutes). If you are able to hang out on your computer or phone for large chunks of the day, you will be in a much better position to turn when an alert comes in. If not, hopefully you will be ready to capitalize next time.
But many of these popular articles are just very difficult to obtain these days. Even if you do everything reasonable to tip the weight in your favor, you can still fall short. Shopping for items that are difficult to obtain can be very frustrating, and it is your conversation about the deterioration that is worth the chance of any success.
It can help to remember that countless other people hunting for the same things – PS5, RTX graphics cards, next-generation Xbox devices – end up getting what they’re looking for, as shown in ecstatic messages they often leave in stock. Check websites for that fact. The stars can also adjust for you. You just need a little luck, and a lotta prep.
Of course, all this effort is fairly hassle-free, so you can also choose to play the super-long game and just wait until all these stock shortages resolve themselves, as they eventually will. This approach does not give you a PS5 very quickly, but cortisol levels and blood pressure may be better for it.
Additional reporting by Alexandra Hall